Hip-hip-hooray! After a short break in May and June 2016, our white-water rafting in Swaziland is again open on the Great Usutu River. We are offering half-day and full-day combo trips from Tuesday to Saturday with guaranteed water releases from hydroelectric power generation ensuring that the river is flowing at a gentle but fun level.
Explains Managing Director Darron Raw, “We are indeed happy to be rafting again as these last two months were the first time since our operation was founded 1991 that we have been forced to suspend rafting trips due to insufficient water.”
On most years low winter water levels are supplemented by hydro-electric power water releases from the Lusushwana catchment area and the Luphohlo Dam in particular, but this year the Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) opted to undertake some emergency cleaning of their reservoirs. This meant that water was held back in the Luphohlo Dam, which until the middle of June was sitting at nearly 100% capacity.
“That stored water is now being used to offset the high winter electricity demands,” continues Raw, “with full power generation from Monday to Friday and to a lesser extent over the weekend.” Swazi Trails is therefore offering trips from Tuesday to Saturday, but not Sunday or Monday, as on these days the water release is less and not optimal for river trips.
So the question remains – what is winter white-water rafting like ?
Here are a few pointers:
- winter days in Swaziland can generally be hotter than most summer days in Europe and areas in the northern hemisphere – it is certainly not cold and we don’t bother with wetsuits
- the more gentle water flow makes the activity a bit more predictable (and safer) than the often turbulent summer months, so we find trips are popular with couples and those that are otherwise a little bit nervous of the high adrenaline reputation of this river.
- winter trips are limited to half-day excursions or the popular full-day combo.
- the Combo trip includes white-water tubing, an abseil and a cliff-jump as additional activities during the afternoon and brings a good bit of adrenaline to the party… for those that still want to push their boundaries.
To learn more about white-water rafting have a look at our information pages: